Crews put out fire at Wilbert Crematorium in Cortland

Local News

Area crews responded to a structure fire early this morning at the Wilbert Crematorium on Salisbury Street in the city of Cortland.

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City Fire Chief Wayne Friedman says the call came in just before 1 am, reporting smoke coming from an unknown area near Salisbury Street and Cleveland Avenue that was limiting view of many structures and homes nearby.

The fire was quickly determined to be coming from the Wilbert Funeral Services commercial building, which is both a vault and a crematorium. A second alarm brought in mutual aid companies from Cortlandville, Homer, Dryden and McGraw.

Friedman says significant damage was sustained to the roof and office area, but that critical documents and materials were saved from the crematory as well as the furnace used for cremation operations.

NYSGE and National Grid disconnected services to the building and Friedman estimates the fire was brought under control within an hour. There were no injuries to any occupants, however one firefighter was evaluated at the scene for dehydration.

No total dollar loss has yet been determined.

City Fire investigators were helped at scene by the New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control Arson Bureau.

The cause of that fire is now under investigation and at this time it’s undetermined when the business may be able to return to operations.

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